Microsoft Dynamics 365 is one of the lesser known products from Microsoft, but it is a major aspect of the Microsoft Cloud. When most people think of Microsoft products for business, they probably think of Office 365, Outlook Email and Exchange Server, and maybe Microsoft Teams. But all those products are part of Microsoft 365, and only cover the daily operational responsibilities of a business.
Microsoft have a range of products that allow businesses to dig much deeper into their operations and do things more efficiently.
One IT support company we spoke to, TechQuarters, has been working with Microsoft for the better part of a decade now.
They believe that Dynamics 365 is an essential solution for their customers, who are primarily small to medium sized businesses.
What is Dynamics 365?
Let’s talk about what exactly Dynamics 365 is, what it does for a business, and why it may be an essential solution for SMBs.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a suite of services that offers businesses a one-stop shop for a wide array of dynamic solutions.
It is actually the product of Microsoft integrating two of their previous solutions: Dynamics CRM and Dynamics AX (which is an ERP solution).
Both CRM and ERP solutions are relatively new approaches to fairly core aspects of business.
In a traditional business, departments generally remain siloed – meaning they largely operate independently from one another.
Take Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service. These are actually 3 areas of businesses that have closely linked interests.
Collaboration between these departments invariably results in a more successful customer lifecycle, higher rates of lead conversion, and a more satisfied customer. This is why Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is become a more widely used solution – though not strictly ‘essential’, it will definitely help a business become more successful.
The same is true for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Essentially, ERP encompasses the resource management of every area of a business, consolidated into a single solution.
A business that is able to manage all of their resources within a single platform, with access to a bird’s eye view of the organisation, will be able to plan more efficiently, and make better business decision.
Dynamics 365 was one of the first solutions to integrate CRM and ERP into one platform. The service is divided into a number of ‘modules’ that focus on different business operations – some examples include the Marketing module, the Field Service module, and the Customer Service module.
How Can Dynamics 365 Be Used?
As mentioned above, the primary value of Dynamics 365 is enabling businesses to work in new, more integrated ways.
Rather than treating the various different areas of a business are their own separate entities, Dynamics 365 allows an organization to manage their data, resources, people, and processes in a more holistic way, which acknowledges that collaboration and transparency across the board is the most efficient and productive way to operate.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 helps to connect everyone in your business, and also connect the applications you use – for instance, Dynamics 365, Microsoft 365, LinkedIn, and Microsoft Azure can be integrated in many ways to create organization workflows.
The applications within Dynamics 365 are highly modular, and can be configured lots of different ways. This essentially means that businesses can customize the applications to fit the needs of their organisation, and then incorporate those customized applications into their existing systems.
The Dynamics 365 platform also utilizes artificial intelligence and machine learning to enable businesses access insights based on big data sources.
The AI capabilities also make it possible to automate processes using Dynamics 365. Though Microsoft has a separate product for this (the Microsoft Power Platform), if a business is looking to automate processes such as project planning, resource scheduling, or service analytics, then Dynamics 365 has tools specifically for this purpose.
Is Dynamics 365 an Essential Solution?
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is designed to help businesses transform the way they do business. Of course, it is possible to operate, and even be successful, without solutions like Dynamics 365.
But for businesses looking to get ahead in their market – especially SMBs – these services could definitely help give them an edge over businesses that are operating in a less modernized way.